Rolfe happy with brace, but sees room for improvement

Chris Rolfe speaks about ways that he can strengthen his game

Chris Rolfe

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Chicago Fire forward Chris Rolfe wasn’t ecstatic with his performance against Philadelphia on Saturday.

Sure, he showed something by notching two goals. And he led his team to a 3-1 win, giving the Fire just their second winning streak of the season. But the 29-year-old was disappointed that he began cramping up near the end of the game, and he didn’t feel like he was strong enough on the ball as the match wore on.

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“I think overall it was okay,” Rolfe told MLSsoccer.com. “I had quite a few mistakes that I need to work on. Of course, when you have two goals as a forward, it’s always a good night.”

As for the Fire offense as a whole, Rolfe is excited.

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Recently-acquired designated players Alvaro Fernandez and Sherjill MacDonald both started, and MacDonald found Rolfe with a cross from the end line in the 43rd minute, leading to the Fire’s first goal.

In the 64th minute, Rolfe combined with Fernandez to give the Uruguayan a chance at his first goal with the Fire, but his shot was blocked by Philadelphia defender Bakary Soumare, who made his Philadelphia debut.

“Those two need to be commended because they’ve come in and done a great job for us so quickly,” Rolfe said. “They’re really easy to play with, both of them know the game so well, and they know their roles.”

Coach Frank Klopas tapped into his suddenly-deep bench in the 44th and 63rd minute, bringing on Patrick Nyarko – who was entrenched as a starter for most of the season – and Brazilian playmaker Alex. Had the Fire been behind, Klopas had speedy forward Dominic Oduro waiting in the wings.

“Taking Patrick Nyarko and Alex off the bench, it’s huge for us,” Rolfe said. “And we didn’t even use Dominic tonight. We have a lot of weapons. It’s looking good for us.”

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Despite his self-deprecating words, Rolfe led the team with six shots and was a huge part of one of the Fire’s best offensive performances of the season.

Soumare, his friend and former teammate, put Rolfe’s performance into perspective when the two chatted after the game.

“I told him, I kind of let him off the hook, I never really went at him,” Rolfe said. “Then he laughed and said I scored two goals.”